For the annual spring dance concert titled “Decennium,” six Elon University seniors will take the McCrary Theatre stage for the final time. They will be accompanied by the rest of the dance department, performing pieces by artistic director Lauren Kearns, professor of dance.
According to senior Allison Dyke, the dance program has a few shows a year, but the two biggest performances are the fall and spring dance concerts.
The spring show is choreographed by Elon faculty who work with dance majors with on a daily basis, casting the show all the way back in November.
“There are six pieces, and they are mostly contemporary,” Dyke said. “There is one contemporary ballet piece that [Assistant Professor of Dance] Jennifer Guy always choreographs.”
The spring dance concert performances run March 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in McCrary Theatre.
This spring, the six senior dance majors will be prominently featured in different pieces throughout the show, showing their growth that led up to this final performance.
“There are only six of us, and we are all very similar, but we are all very different,” Dyke said. “We all have specific strengths, and we are really fortunate to have faculty that wanted to feature us.”
This will be the first time Dyke is able to perform in the spring dance concert because she was abroad last spring.
“It is a really cool show,” Dyke said. “I really respect all of the choreographers and I think all of the pieces are really interesting, and it is a really good time to do what you love.”
The senior class will also present their senior thesis in May.
The senior thesis is a dance performance in which senior members present collaborative dance works they have been working on throughout the year.
“This year we are basing our performance off of Dante’s Inferno, which will be really cool,” Dyke said. “I’m really excited about it. We are all choreographing. We are all dancing.”
As a senior performing in the spring dance concert, there is a lot of responsibility that goes into being a role model for the other students in the program.
“The greatest responsibility is setting an example,” Dyke said. “We’re just setting expectations of how you need to behave in the rehearsal process and what the etiquette is and how to learn dance in a different way.”
According to Dyke, the transition between high school and college while entering the dance major is more competitive than what most people experience as a freshman at college.
“We need to be encouraging,” Dyke said. “We try to keep a friendly environment for everyone, especially being in a small program. I really respect everyone here.”
Sophomore Francesca Mancuso has been inspired by this positive example the seniors in this dance show have set for the underclassmen.
“They are incredibly welcoming and caring,” Mancuso said. “They are constantly working their hardest.”
After spending four years dancing in the program, Dyke believes she has learned a lot about herself as a dancer and as a person.
“I would say in four years, I’ve learned a lot about professionalism,” Dyke said. “I’ve learned how to show up and make the best of a situation — maybe the choreography is new to you and you don’t know all the information or how to work to get something to fit your body better.”
Dyke appreciates the experience Elon has given her as a performer.
“Performing is so different from taking class or being in rehearsal,” Dyke said. “It is a completely different skill set — having the opportunity to perform really prepared me to not only be a dancer but be a performer.”